Back to School Lunches :: Making Healthy Choices

Back to School Lunches :: Making Healthy Choices | Houston Moms Blog

Back to school means back to packing lunches for a lot of Houston moms {I hear you groaning}.  Whether your child is in preschool, elementary or beyond, we all struggle with feeding our kids a healthy lunch and erasing the mommy guilt that comes from picking up a lunchable on the way to school.  This year, like many of you out there, we are trying to cut out the processed foods that are so readily available to us and have a overall healthier diet.  When it comes to packing a lunch though, that’s easier said than done.  With a little research and some fun accessories, I am hoping my kiddos won’t notice the lack of packaged foods they’ve come to love.  Here are a few ideas I am implementing this year to cut back on premade foods::

Start with whole foods.

Skipping prepackaged foods isn’t always convenient but with a little prep work it can be easy.  Lisa, with 100 Days of Real Food, has some great examples of how to make healthy lunchables.  You can also check out this HMB post that has some seriously good ideas.  And for those times that you just can’t, our HMB contributor Maria recommends Fresh Lunch by Yellow Box.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

I tend to pack the same lunch everyday for my kids, and according to most of the moms I asked, THAT’S OK.  I worried I was burning my kids out on the same ‘ole lunch everyday but it turns out that is what most moms suggest doing.  Why make it hard on yourself trying to pack something new everyday?  Switch things up by offering a new fruit or veggie.  Try to stick with in-season fruits and veggies because they taste best.

Get your kids involved.

My kids are much more willing to eat something if they had a hand in making it or picking it out.  My youngest, JJ, loves helping me make these energy bites.  I plan on freezing them and packing them in his lunchbox.  I also like to take my kids to the grocery store to help me shop for their lunches {thank you HEB for free cookies and buddy bucks for bribes}.  We talk about making good food choices for their lunch and snacks.  We look at labels and try to pick out foods that have no added sugar and minimal ingredients.  Their favorite right now is Applegate Pepperonis and these fruit strips.  I know if they had their choice it’d be oreos and chips for lunch, but we are working on better eating habits.

Let’s talk lunchboxes…

I asked Houston moms what their favorite lunch boxes were and the response was overwhelming.  By far, the most recommended was the Yumbox.  Houston moms also loved Bentology, Planetbox, and Spencer bento box.  The most popular thermos was definitely the Thermos Funtainer.

Another suggestion was leaving notes and jokes in lunchboxes for your little ones.  Target has these fun lunch notes ready to go or you can print these free ones yourself.  To jazz up your kids lunchbox, Target has some great accessories this year like these food picks to decorate, and these silicone food cups.

What are your go to lunches for your kids?  Do you put anything special in their lunchboxes?  We’d love to hear from you; comment below!

Need more back-to-school tips? Check out The Ultimate Back to School Guide for Houston Moms!

The Ultimate Back-to-School Guide for Houston Moms | Houston Moms Blog

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Jessica L
After graduating college, Jessica moved to Fort Worth to pursue her love of fashion, listen to some Texas country music and have a little fun. One night out with a friend, 615 miles would be erased when this small town southeast Texas girl met her tall west Texas boy. Eventually jobs would move them to Houston where they would settle down into suburban life and have two sweet and VERY active boys, Jett {January 2011} and Jay {November 2012}. It wasn’t until having kids and becoming a stay at home mom, that Jessica truly fell in love with Houston. Her perfect day with the kids would begin EARLY at the zoo {because we all know parking there} with a strong cup of coffee, around lunch time they’d hop on the Hermann Park train and head over to Centennial Park for a picnic lunch and then they would end the day checking out the dinosaur exhibit at HMNS. When not exploring Houston, Jessica loves to shop online for amazing deals, watch Texas A&M football and basketball, and plan their next family adventure.


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